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Corrugated Packaging Design: Saving More Money Than You Realize

Posted by Peter Centenari on Jan 3, 2018 5:18:07 PM

In an era where transportation costs are on the rise, margins are razor thin and you're battling for the attention of your consumers with more competitors than ever, finding any opportunity that you can to reduce costs is and will always be a top priority. 

In recent years, many people have been turning to innovative packaging solutions to accomplish precisely that - which has led to a rise in popularity of a wide range of different materials.

Though you're certainly not without your options, there are a host of unique cost saving opportunities in particular that only corrugated packaging materials can bring to the table that are more than worth exploring. Though the material itself may have been around for over a century, people are only just now starting to realize the many different ways in which they can leverage it to their advantage.

Corrugated Packaging: Saving You Money All Day, Every Day

Perhaps the biggest way in which corrugated packaging can help save you money is also the most obvious: it comes down to the superior level of customization that the material offers. Because of the way corrugated boxes are manufactured, the different layers can be arranged in a wide range of different ways to more closely align with the end-needs of the product - all while maintaining the same level of strength at the exact same time.

Because of this, you're able to design boxes that are smaller and yet more efficient, all in a way that guarantees adequate protection according to ISTA standards. Smaller packaging doesn't just save you money initially on the reduced costs of packaging materials, but it also allows you to store and transport more products to stores and into the arms of buying customers as well.

But even going beyond that, this single benefit can lead to additional cost savings after a period of experimentation. Instead of designing corrugated boxes that open from the top (as is the case with traditional packaging materials), you might instead experiment with adjusting the orientation so that a product is side loaded. Not only does this make things easier on behalf of your customers, but it once again uses less board in the packaging which translates to additional cost savings as well.

Another one of the ways in which corrugated packaging can help save you money ultimately comes down to the effect that it has on your own internal operations. Again, corrugated packages are incredibly malleable - all it would take is a simple packaging audit to see where consolidations can be made by way of adding custom inserts, fillers or other types of factors.

This in turn can dramatically reduce the total number of boxes that you're dealing with for your products, thus reducing the number of SKUs you have to contend with as well. This makes it easier to not only physically store those products, but it can also easily create a situation where your order quantity can effortlessly increase without compromising product protection in any way. Once again, this leads to less packaging which translates to significant cost savings from a logistical standpoint alone.

The move to corrugated packaging presents an opportunity to save money in similar ways, too, all relating directly back to the malleability of the material itself. If you make an effort to better understand the industry asset base, for example, certain opportunities can't help but reveal themselves. Consider the fact that every corrugated box manufacturer will have their own unique strengths, all of which play a big role in driving the types of efficiencies that you can depend on to reduce costs.

If you're about to launch a product with a limited run for a strategic roll-out, find a corrugated packaging manufacturer with strengths that fall into this category. If a separate product launch in the future requires a much larger run and uniform box sizes, find a larger provider that is a better match on service and cost. To that end, corrugated packaging allows you to break free of the restrictions of the "one size fits all" approach to packaging manufacturing and allows you to always be in a position where the providers that are the most competitive on price are easily identifiable.

The Environmental and Cost Benefits of Corrugated Packaging

But from the perspective of the environment, corrugated packaging can help save you a tremendous amount of money in terms of how easy it is to recycle and re-use as needed. Corrugated materials are all natural by their very design - as is true with most paper-based products, they are 100% recyclable.

Now, think about all of that extra packaging waste that you have laying around your warehouse or distribution center. Switching to corrugated packaging easily creates a scenario where you can find a local supplier that offers recycled corrugated products to act as your recycler. When you're done with that extra corrugated waste, your recycler can come pick it up and get it out of your way - and pay you for it as well. In most situations, this is possible WITHOUT any additional processing required.

So not only have you taken a large step towards doing your part to protect the environment, but you've also turned your corrugated waste into additional cost savings in one fell swoop. You can even begin to market the fact that your products are packaged with 100% recyclable materials - something that consumers have shown in the past that they place a very high priority on. This is the type of opportunity that even the strongest brands simply cannot afford to overlook.

In Conclusion

Even if you go beyond the simple fact that "smaller and more efficient boxes = tremendous cost savings", corrugated packaging materials can still help save your business money in a wide range of different ways depending on the situation that you find yourself in. In a lot of ways, it's more than just a better type of material in terms of the environment or how easy it is for consumers. It's also "better" than alternatives in that it has the flexibility and malleability to both allow you to meet the challenges of today and better prepare yourself for the demands of tomorrow, too - regardless of the form those demands may take when the time comes.

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